Thursday, June 28, 2012
Thursday Bullets: NBA Draft edition
By Beckley Mason
- Check out Mike Schmitz's YouTube channel to watch fun and really smart scout tapes on every major prospect in the draft.
- The Miami Heat don't expect to find a big man they like with the 27th pick.
- Daily Thunder's Royce Young isn't buying the rumors that OKC will try to trade Harden for Charlotte's No. 2 pick to snag Bradley Beal: "My feeling? It’s all smoke and mirrors. That’s how most of this draft stuff works. And it’s just so hard for me to picture the Thunder moving Harden now, when they’re guaranteed another season with him already. This scenario seems a lot more plausible a year from now, if the Thunder feel there’s no way to keep the entire core together. But why make such a major move now, rather than wait until it’s actually necessary? By moving up to grab Beal though, the Thunder could essentially solve a lot of those luxury tax questions and open the door to extending the life span of a young core a few years more. But that’s operating under the assumption that Beal is anything close to the player James Harden is, that he’ll fit in between Westbrook and Durant and that he can contribute early. Because the Thunder expect to contend again next season. Trading Harden would signal a step back, unless Beal is a super rookie."
- Bobcats blog Queen City Hoops breaks down the likelihood that the Cats trade out of the second pick.
- Dwight Howard's camp has signaled he won't re-sign in Houston, where GM Daryl Morey is trading like crazy to accumulate the assets necessary to net the league's best big. On Hardwood Paroxysm, Sean Highkin says Howard is well-worth the risk ... and it might not be a risk at all: "Let’s say the retooled Rockets make a deep playoff run, and Howard falls in love with Houston. This is no guarantee, because Howard’s decision-making process is as reliable as a BlackBerry. But by that same token, it can’t be ruled out. If the Rockets can convince Howard to stay, then they have an honest-to-goodness superstar, one of the five best players on the planet, aged 27, to build around -- at the toughest position to find that kind of talent, no less. This would be a pretty enviable position for a GM as sharp as Morey to find himself in. And if Howard bolts for Brooklyn? Well, a full-on rebuild of the 'We’re going to be 2012 Charlotte Bobcats-level bad and land a franchise player in the top of the draft' variety is much easier to sell to your fans when you’ve just shown them that you’re not afraid to take a gamble on Dwight Howard when the opportunity presents itself. Either one of these options is more desirable than what the Rockets have been doing for the past five years. An opportunity this tailor-made for Morey’s approach isn’t going to come along every year."
- Grantland's Sebastian Pruiti scouts the draft using video and statistics to shine a light on each player's strengths and weaknesses. Here's his take on big men, wings, and point guards.
- ESPN's Senior National Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep and NBA Insider David Thorpe join HoopSpeak Live to dish on the draft.
- Syracuse's Dion Waiters has received plenty of hype, and has even been compared to Dwyane Wade. Dave Helm of Raptors Republic doesn't see the resemblance.
- Get up to speed on Evan Fournier, a dynamic scorer with great size and, by most measures (but not Hollinger's draft rater), the top-rated international prospect in this year's draft.
- Feeling good about minor moves in Milwaukee.
- Whether it's Meyers Leonard or John Henson, which big man the Pistons select will say a lot about the direction of the franchise.
- The Dallas Mavericks could sure use a good draft.
- Negative reviews for the Pistons after trading Ben Gordon and a first round pick for Corey Maggette.
- What has each draft pick been worth in the last decade? Eric Maroun crunches the data from the last 10 years to find out the average value of every pick. (picks 1-10, 11-20, 21-30).
- On HoopSpeak, Jordan White writes about Royce White's anxiety disorder and mental health issues in general, a major taboo in professional sports: "It’s not a team’s job to help a player; the job is to win. But the problem with mental health issues is that they are easy to hide, for a time, and tough to measure. There are no doubt players in this draft who privately struggle with depression and anxiety and who will disappoint their team once they enter the league. Shying away from a player like White because of his issues might paradoxically increase the chances of drafting a player with undiagnosed problems in the future."
- Grantland's Jonathan Abrams profiles Iowa State big man Royce White, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder.
- Why Oklahoma City had to forfeit their second round pick from the Jeff Green-Kendrick Perkins trade.
- A look at the 10 best draft classes in the last 33 years.
- Get to know potential sleepers likely to be taken in the second round.
- A note on Pau Gasol trade rumors: For the Lakers, salary concerns are just as pressing as questions about Gasol's fit with Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant. It will be hard and maybe impossible for Los Angeles to replace him with a comparable talent unless that player is on a rookie scale. Under the new CBA and because of the massive size of Kobe Bryant's contract, the Lakers may not be able to pay three veteran superstars (something that seems necessary for any contender these days) without incurring a massive luxury tax.